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Ben Hope

Ben Hope


Postby incompleat » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:04 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Hope

Date walked: 09/04/2013

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 7.5 km

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Munro #147 : Ben Hope

Date : 09/04/2013
Distance : 7.5km
Time : 5.5hrs


After a long layoff from the hills, the first Munro of 2013 had to be something fairly straight-forward and short - no Slioch-like walk-ins today. In the end, these criteria combined with the MWIS forecast screamed out Ben Hope.

I had never been this far north before ever. After Alness was unexplored territory for me. The roads were nice and quiet on this Tuesday morning and there were some great views, although a bank of black cloud to the north looked to disprove the MWIS forecast.

We passed through Lairg and onto the single track road and then the snow started. Heavy snow and hailstones which battered down all the way to Altnaharra. The skies cleared as we turn off onto the Hope road/track and the views began to open up, although the tops were still hidden.

Image
Strath More I by chimpaction, on Flickr


Parked up at the carpark for the start of the walk and booted up. There were 2 or 3 other cars there already.

Image
Way Up Ben Hope by chimpaction, on Flickr

The path up to the crags was moderately steep, but fairly dry, and the waterfalls were a pleasant distraction. There were lovely views south along Strath More too. We sheltered in the crags for a bite to eat before hitting the snowline.

Image
Strath More II by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Lower Slopes by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Ben Klibreck from Ben Hope by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Snowline by chimpaction, on Flickr

As we hit the upper slopes, I donned my microspikes. Although not really needed, they gave that little bit of extra grip. At this point we were hit with a shower of hail, reminding me that I really should invest in a pair of cheap snow goggles. The shower soon passed. It turned out to be the last one of the day. The cloud was more broken and had lifted off the tops. It looked like our timing would be spot-on for the legendary views from the summit...

Image
Blue Skies by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Passing Snow Shower by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Upper Slopes I by chimpaction, on Flickr

The summit plateau was soon reached. The snow here was much deeper and there was a bitterly cold wind blowing from the east. But the views were there!

Image
Upper Slopes II by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Spindrift by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Ben Hope Summit by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Ben Hope Panorama I by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Ben Hope Panorama II by chimpaction, on Flickr

We stayed on the summit as long as we could stand it, taking photo after photo but eventually the biting wind forced a retreat back down to shelter. Back down out of the wind, the day had warmed up nicely and we had a leisurely stroll back down to the car. Stopped at the broch for some photographs and then again at the Crask Inn for a celebratory pint. Just the long drive home now. A day that will stay in my memory for a long time.

Image
Dun Dornaigil Broch by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Strathmore River by chimpaction, on Flickr

Image
Crask Inn by chimpaction, on Flickr
incompleat
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 32
Munros:167   Corbetts:13
Grahams:4   
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Re: Ben Hope

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:19 pm

That was well worth the wait, not a bad day to start back on the hills, great views and photographs, thanks for sharing. Pity about the cold wind, but you can't get everything can you! :)
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The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
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Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

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